April 15, 2013

What to Do Before You Install an Access Control System

So you’ve decided to upgrade from a lock and key system and have your security systems integrator install an electronic access control system.

Or maybe you already have keyless entry on one or some doors and are looking to expand your access control system.

What are some decisions you need to make at the outset? There are many items to address, actually.

These include whether to use biometrics or credential readers, to use cards or fobs, to choose the proper panel which will accommodate the correct amount of future expansion, and more.

But there’s something that needs to be taken care of before all else and it doesn’t even involve electronics, credentials or future expansion.

It has to do with your locksmith.

Having a survey done of your doors and door hardware before you have any electronic equipment installed just makes sense. And most locksmiths will conduct a survey for free.

It also makes sense that you ensure that the integrity of the very doors you’re looking to secure is in tact.

So what is done during a locksmith survey of your doors and door hardware? Quite a bit, actually. It can be conducted on commercial as well as residential properties.

It not only leads to more secure doors but it also stops energy loss and it could avert lawsuits due to the prevention of faulty equipment from hurting someone.

Also it can ensure ADA requirements are being met and that fire exit safety is at a premium.

Here are some examples of checks that are done during a typical survey:

¨ Are door closers leaking oil and closing properly? (…could cause injury)

¨ Are doors plum, closing tightly? Are they swollen?

¨ Do thresholds need repair, weatherstripping, etc?

¨ Are leversets sagging? Do latches retract?

¨ Do cylinders stick and have rust?

¨ Are hinges secure and are all screws intact?

¨ Does panic hardware (crash bars) latch properly after the door closes?

If you are meeting with a security integrator about access control, ask if they have a locksmith division—some do.

If they don’t, simply make a few calls to locksmiths and ask if they do free surveys. Be sure to find one that doesn’t charge for the survey.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.


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